Scottish Power Renewables Whitelee Windfarm visitor centre

Generating electricity from waves is a new and exciting possibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is wave power?

Waves are formed by the wind when it blows across the top of water. The last time you went to the beach did you see anyone surfing? They were using the power of waves to propel themselves through the water. Waves are very powerful but it is difficult to harness this power to generate electricity.

How does wave power work?

Currently there are several ways to generate electricity from waves.
Waves can be channelled into a chamber containing air. As the waves move in and out they force air up and down. A turbine can be fitted at the top of this chamber and is powered by the moving air. This generates electricity.
There are also devices that sit on top of the water (Pelamis is a great example) and move with the waves. As the device moves it powers generators and creates electricity.

Is wave power renewable?

Wave energy is renewable as there will always be wind to create them.

What are the advantages

Generating electricity from waves is clean and green as there is no pollution or waste. Waves are very powerful and if harvested correctly could generate a substantial amount of electricity.

What are the challenges of wave power?

Conditions at sea can be very rough and any wave device would need to be able to withstand these conditions.

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